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I'm working on a '70 CB450, the engine runs pretty well (I just started it yesterday and the last time the bike had been inspected/registered was 1978!) but the kick start lever will just push down without engaging. My question is if I want to fix this is it absolutely necessary to split the cases or could there be another reason for it's lack of function that may be easier and less time consuming to fix without having to pull the engine out and tearing it down?
-Nathan
 

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before you go digging into the engine casing, make sure that when you're trying to kick-start it, you're NOT holding in the clutch. if you are, that would also cause the kick-start to push down but not engage...

otherwise, sounds like you're at least going to have to open up the engine case on that side. i'm guessing the issue is with the kick-starter spring or spindle, and the only way to get at that is to open her up. drop the foot pegs and the rear break, pull off the pipe and you should have pretty easy access to the case...
 
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